The Rabbinical Alliance of America — Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American rabbis — joins the entire United States in mourning those murdered in mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend of August 3rd-4th and in Gilroy, California, on July 28th. Innocent victims, holy people created by the Lord, were slaughtered in cold blood. We cry for their loss and pray for the families and communities of the deceased. As a country, we struggle to understand the inhumanity wrought by dangerous lunatics. In the wake of these murderous acts of hate, the RAA calls for more brotherly love, community building and prayer to the Almighty to heal this fractured society.
On Saturday, August 3, 2019, a 21-year-old gunman in El Paso, Texas, turned a crowded Walmart store into a scene of chaos and bloodshed. This act of terror and cold-blooded murder took the lives of 20 innocent people and another 26 wounded. The next day, a 24-year-old man in Dayton, Ohio, entered an entertainment district and shot dead six people, including his sister, and injured 27 others. Approximately a week earlier, a gunman in Gilroy, California, killed three innocent people at a garlic festival, and injured 13 others.
The RAA condemns these cold, inhumane acts of terror, hate, and murder. Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, stated, “Words cannot express our outrage. As Jews, we are sadly all too familiar with terror, hate and violence, and the trauma of living with fear of violence. With a history of pogroms, the holocaust and terror in Israel we, as Jews and Americans, join the people of El Paso, Dayton and Gilroy in mourning these tragic losses. What started as ordinary days should never have ended in death, chaos and destruction. We call upon every decent peace-loving person to lock hand in hand and to condemn this violence and resolve upon ourselves as human beings and as Americans to respect each other. We commend law enforcement officials for their excellent work in responding to these attacks and call on the relevant government agencies to thoroughly investigate and hold accountable those responsible for these acts of hate, death and destruction.”
Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht, presidium chairman of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, called upon “members of the Jewish faith to say additional prayers for the victims of these massacres and to pray that, as Americans, we should never see such acts of death and destruction again. As President Trump said so succinctly, ‘Hate has no place in our country.’ The only way to combat hate is through love and acts of kindness. We urge all decent people to build and strengthen local communities to provide care in times of need and support in times of stress. This country needs more prayer, more faith and more love.”
May He who makes peace in Heaven shall make peace on this earth and may we not know of such incidents anymore.